Upon graduating from college in May, I spent many hours reflecting on my four years at Elon University. Aside from being blown away by how fast it all went, I was overcome with gratitude for how incredible my college experience had been. I can honestly look back and say, "Good work Sky, you did it right." Of course there were challenges along the way, but I truly feel that I made every moment count. Including the sometimes hard-learned lessons.
I will never forget the words given to my class at freshman convocation by our university president, Leo M. Lambert. He stressed the importance of diving in and taking advantage of all that Elon has to offer. He told us:
“YOU HAVE ARRIVED AT A GIANT FEAST. DON’T MAKE YOURSELF A BOLOGNA SANDWICH.”
The entire crowd laughed. I often think back to that moment and that message. Well, I really took this advice to heart and I feasted my freaking face off.
If you are getting ready to go to college, or if you are currently attending college, I urge you to do the same.
However, my ability to be involved in so much throughout my four years was directly related to the time and energy I spent on taking care of myself. When I put my health first, everything else fell into place. When I did not take care of myself, now that is where I ran into trouble.
Although there were a few bumps in the road, for the most part, I stayed incredibly healthy in college and connected to my mind, body and soul. I created tactics for staying healthy and grounded and now I want to share what I have learned.
I wrote The College Guide to both you, and to my 18-year-old self. So I found it only appropriate that I open the book with a letter to her:
Dear 18-year-old Sky,
I am inspired by your wide-eyed excitement and curiosity for what will become the best four years of your life, up until this point. I am going to be honest and tell you right now, it will not be easy. College is a whirlwind in so many ways and not all of it will be flowers and rainbows. You will be tested and tried and you may even lose yourself for a short period of time. You will have some of the worst and best moments of your life thus far, but it is all beautiful.
Embrace this chapter with open and loving arms, for all that it’s worth, because what you will gain will change you forever. You are entering college as an effervescent, eager, passionate, and often naive teenage girl. You will emerge as a strong, independent, (still effervescent), and more passionate than ever, young woman.
Remember what your mom has told you since day one: “stay true to yourself and you will never go wrong.” You might not always feel like yourself during these four years, but I promise that is okay. When you do find yourself again, you’ll feel more like you than you ever have. This will lead you further to your true purpose.
This book contains all of the important lessons you will learn during the next four years. Some of it is practical and actionable, like how to take care of your mind and body. Some of it is personal and emotional, like how to take care of your soul.
No matter what happens, I want you to trust. Trust yourself and trust the journey. It is all part of your unique path and the story of your life.
There will be hard work, learning, partying, trying new things, travel, friendship, love, heartbreak, and a shit load of fun.
Love, 22-year-old Sky
The College Guide can now be purchased here! I hope it helps you and I hope that you'll share it with anyone in college who may find it helpful. As always, I would love to hear your feedback. Please leave comments or email me!